Regus rent - must I pay by direct debit

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by mfrgolfgti, Nov 28, 2008.

  1. mfrgolfgti

    mfrgolfgti UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    We have just moved to a Regus serviced office and they have now told us that we "must" pay our monthly rent & fees by direct debit. If we insist on not paying by direct debit they will levy a 5% charge on all fees. There is nothing in the contract we signed that mentions direct debits, it just says that fees must be paid promptly.

    does anyone else here operate from a Regus office or have experience of this? Must I sign a direct debit mandate for this? I can't find this requirement written down anywhere yet verbally they have told me it is a term and condition of Regus. I would rather pay by standing order because I don't want anyone taking money out of my bank account. In my last offices we paid by standing order for 17 years and never once missed a payment. Regus have said they are not prepared to accept a standing order.
     
    Posted: Nov 28, 2008 By: mfrgolfgti Member since: Nov 28, 2008
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  2. bwglaw

    bwglaw UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    We have an office with Regus. We pay by Direct Debit as the most practical means of ensuring payment is made on time. This also allows us to use some form of credit with them for the facilities they offer i.e. photocopying etc.

    Our contracts may differ as it will depend when you entered into an agreement with them. Surely paying by Direct Debt is most practical for your business?
     
    Posted: Nov 28, 2008 By: bwglaw Member since: Apr 8, 2005
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  3. mfrgolfgti

    mfrgolfgti UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Hi, no, we don't like direct debits because that gives the control to the person who is taking the money out of our bank. So in theory, having signed the direct debit, Regus could bill us for stuff that we don't agree with and then take the money out of our account anyway. Or they might "accidentally" take the wrong amounts and then it would be up to us to try and get the money back. It is much more difficult to retrieve money once you've given it away than it is to control the spend in the first place. I think a standing order is much better, we could pay for our fixed fees, ie our office rental fee and our communications fees by standing order and then pay a bill on 30 days or whatever based on the extras we are charged.
     
    Posted: Nov 28, 2008 By: mfrgolfgti Member since: Nov 28, 2008
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  4. Mattonella Tile Studio

    Mattonella Tile Studio UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Don't forget the direct debit guarantee though. If they accidentally take the wrong amount you contact your bank, they sort it out for you.
     
    Posted: Nov 28, 2008 By: Mattonella Tile Studio Member since: Jun 10, 2008
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  5. domokun

    domokun UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Im with regus and I dont pay via DD.
    Primarily because the first two months invoices were inaccurate and so I don't trust them to get it right.
     
    Posted: Nov 28, 2008 By: domokun Member since: Jul 10, 2008
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  6. deniser

    deniser UKBF Legend Free Member

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    If it's not in your lease then they can't insist on it.
     
    Posted: Nov 28, 2008 By: deniser Member since: Jun 3, 2008
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  7. mfrgolfgti

    mfrgolfgti UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    yes, that's what I thought.
     
    Posted: Nov 28, 2008 By: mfrgolfgti Member since: Nov 28, 2008
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  8. kayak

    kayak UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Like someone else said don't forget about the DD guarantee.

    They have to bill you 14 days in advance so you would get a chance to query any invoices.

    I would suggest you are being a little over cautious as most people use DD for everything - phone, gas etc etc.

    No idea on their legal position however, so you may well be within your right to refuse.
     
    Posted: Nov 28, 2008 By: kayak Member since: Jan 3, 2008
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  9. mfrgolfgti

    mfrgolfgti UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    yes you may be right, maybe I am a little over-cautious. I just don't like the idea of other people taking money out of my account and my philosophy has always been that I will decide when and what I pay people. Maybe it's because I'm old and cynical! You both make a good point about the DD guarantee, I will look into this.
     
    Posted: Nov 28, 2008 By: mfrgolfgti Member since: Nov 28, 2008
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  10. FE

    FE UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 424 Likes: 22
    When we first started we were with Regus and never agreed to DD. They tried to get us on it but resisted as there invoice was never ever correct.

    DD is a great way to pay less administration etc BUT you only know there is a problem AFTER its happened and they have taken the money. Depending on the amount then it can cause problems of other payments due to go out. Yes they can be rectified using DD gurantee or simply contacting supplier but it takes time and effort

    We pay by DD to suppliers that we are assured they will take the right amount. Regus we never went that way

    As fr a 5% levy then if not in your T&C's then would reject but from experience of Regus it will be a hard slog!

    FE
     
    Posted: Nov 28, 2008 By: FE Member since: Sep 16, 2005
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  11. bwglaw

    bwglaw UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 4,682 Likes: 230
    When we get the monthly invoice from Regus we have more than two weeks (cannot remember exactly how long) to query the Direct Debit that is about to be deducted. Under the DD scheme you are entitled to I think at least 7 days notice before the amount is deducted.

    I can appreciate your concerns as we had an issue with the Business Centre who attempted to deduct £1300 more than they should have and the Business Centre was then in administration because Regus acquired the Centre.

    If there is no specific clause stating how you must pay then you are entitled to pay by any other method, obviously at a greater cost to cover administration.
     
    Posted: Nov 29, 2008 By: bwglaw Member since: Apr 8, 2005
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  12. mfrgolfgti

    mfrgolfgti UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Thanks all, your advice has been very helpful. After weighing it all up I have now decided to go with the Direct Debit for Regus and will just have to make sure we log everything that we use so that we can be certain their invoices are correct each month.
     
    Posted: Nov 29, 2008 By: mfrgolfgti Member since: Nov 28, 2008
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  13. Simon-M

    Simon-M UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Don't forget, Regus are YOUR supplier. YOU are the customer. They have aggressive targets that they must also make. Even though they insist on stuff, if you tell them you will need to find an alternative serviced office they bend very quickly.

    We used them a few years ago and they were very good to us. Maureen in the canteen did a wicked chilie con too.

    Simon
     
    Posted: Nov 29, 2008 By: Simon-M Member since: Nov 16, 2007
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  14. Tabbie

    Tabbie UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 245 Likes: 12
    im at regus and what was a £200 pm rent has ended up being £1145 per month after they banged all the charges on!
     
    Posted: Nov 29, 2008 By: Tabbie Member since: Aug 18, 2008
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  15. domokun

    domokun UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 144 Likes: 15
    :eek: Youch!
    They do charge you for everything! Im a sole trader so for me the use of desk and internet is more than enough. On the occasions I need to use the meeting rooms I dont mind stumping up the cash but, one tip, avoid their rip-off lunches! I swear I paid almost £10 a head for a single tray of party food from sainsburys; Jamie Oliver must have made it himself for that price ;)
     
    Posted: Nov 30, 2008 By: domokun Member since: Jul 10, 2008
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  16. CVR

    CVR UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Here's a warning for you, Regus never get their invoices right!!! I work for a large multi national and I have been in charge of the accommodation payments to Regus for our offices for a few years now. I can never remember a time when I've not queried something they have put on the invoices! Seriously!! They will try to rip you off whenever and where ever they can.
     
    Posted: Nov 30, 2008 By: CVR Member since: Nov 30, 2008
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  17. domokun

    domokun UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 144 Likes: 15
    This doesn't surprise me at all. As I said, I've been with them almost three months now, the offices Im in are virtually empty (due to the current climate) and still they have trouble getting it right. If I worked in a busy office with lots of businesses invoicing regus at the same time I dread to think how inaccurate they would be.
     
    Posted: Dec 1, 2008 By: domokun Member since: Jul 10, 2008
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  18. FE

    FE UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 424 Likes: 22
    Agree 100%. Last correspondance i had from them was they were going legal on us becuase we had not paid their CREDIT yes they owed us the money for getting the invoice wrong originally and recieved threatening letters about paying their CREDIT yes i had a minus in front of it

    Never again

    FE
     
    Posted: Dec 1, 2008 By: FE Member since: Sep 16, 2005
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  19. annethedonn

    annethedonn UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 821 Likes: 14
    We're with Regus and they're an absolute nightmare of a company. They bend the rules to suit themselves even when they've made agreements they go back on them. I set up our training centre on the premise I could use a conference room and after having spending thousands they're now saying I can't use it for less than 18 people and our courses are typically for 9-13! I don't pay by direct debit - hate that too. Also, they've invoiced us at 17.5% VAT for January when they should be doing 15%. It's in black and white on the HMRC website, but are they budging? Are the hell! Doesn't affect me as I can claim it back but for those of you who aren't VAT registered, be warned!
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2008
    Posted: Dec 1, 2008 By: annethedonn Member since: Mar 23, 2005
    #19
  20. Tabbie

    Tabbie UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 245 Likes: 12
    They do seem to always get things wrong. I had a temp in the office for 1 day, the person was just doing a little database management. I had the phone line connected (which costs them nothing) - they charged me £120 for connection for the day! Plus £10 for the use of a phone, £90 for the use of a desk for 1 day, £35 for the use of a chair!!!!
     
    Posted: Dec 5, 2008 By: Tabbie Member since: Aug 18, 2008
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